Union minister Nitin Gadkari today pitched for a vast network of ropeways across the country and said the cost effective implementation of such a project would prove to be a "game changer" for the transport system.
"The advent of Ropeways would not only ensure the seamless integration in a multi-modal transportation system, but it can also be used as a feeder service to the mass rapid transport system, besides, it will reduce traffic congestion on roads thus minimising road accidents, will save fuel, protect environment from pollution, will save the time," the Road Transport and Highways Minister said.
He was addressing delegates attending a two-day workshop on the "Development of Ropeways, Sustainable Transport, Seamless Connectivity," in a suburban hotel.
The workshop was organised by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd. (IPRCL), an SPV formed under the Ministry of Shipping with the equity participation of major ports.
Talking about infrastructure development for ropeways and presenting a road map for executing such projects, Gadkari said the benefits of this mode of transport are immense as it will reduce travel timing, boost tourism as well as employment.
Gadkari assured the participants that he will make all out efforts to overcome challenges coming in the way of executing the projects, including talking to the Niti Ayog and coordinating with multiple ministries.
He also appealed to major ports in the country to come forward and park their money into ropeways projects instead of putting them in banks.
"All major ports are in profit and having surplus money with them. They are depositing the money in banks which will yield the rate of return at maximum 6 per cent. But if they invest their money in such innovative projects, they will reap the benefits in multiples," the minister said.
Gadkari, however, clarified the Central government would not offer any compensation or subsidy to stake-holders concerned in such projects.
"Let me clarify that while putting their hands into such projects, people (companies) think that what kind of benefit or incentive we are going to get. Let me clarify that we are not going to give any compensation or subsidy. It's not a charitable or profitable move for us. But if they actualise these (ropeway) projects cost effectively, especially through our 'Make-In-India' motto, they will certainly reap an unexpected business," he said.
Gadkari further said the companies should keep in mind that transport fare (for such projects) should be made affordable so that the common man can avail this kind of transport, which will attract more passengers and tourists.
"A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) will be signed with the Maharashtra government in order to work on the water connectivity between Thane- Vasai- Virar. The work will be undertaken in three phases," he said.
He said the Sewri-Elephanta Caves ropeway connectivity project is being proposed to be extended till Uran in Navi Mumbai so that people can easily take the highway to go towards Goa.
He said a tender for the project has been issued.
Gadkari also informed that the ro ro service for carrying buses and cars is also set to start from April this year, which will help commuters to take their vehicles along and head towards Nerul in Navi Mumbai and Mandwa village in neighbouring Raigad district.
Referring to the upcoming international airport in Navi Mumbai, Gadkari said an option of a sea connectivity is being considered for passengers.
"Construction of electric highways and operation of double-decker electric buses in major metro cities is also being considered," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)